For the 63rd year, the Juried Art Show is presenting the works of UW-Eau Claire students

This show, juried by Linda Weintraub, displays student work from all majors at UWEC

More stories from Ben Strong

Praxis post
December 9, 2020


The 63rd Annual Juried Student Art Show is back on exhibition for students, staff and faculty.

This year, the artworks were juried by Linda Weintraub, a curator, educator, artist and author of several popular books about contemporary art.

A textbook of hers is used in an upper level class, according to Amanda Bulger, an associate lecturer in the Haas Fine Arts Center. 

“We ask faculty in art and design to think of jurors that might be a good fit for our current curriculum,” Bulger said. “[Weintraub] is very involved when it comes to art and sustainability, and that’s something we’re working with this year.”

Bulger also had a hand in the exhibit by making the platform students can submit their work to. This way, Weintraub could look at the pieces. Bulger also worked with artists to frame their pieces for exhibition and helped students to actually build the exhibit.

“We’d actually hope that [Weintraub] could work with students while on campus; her original visit was planned for April,” Bulger said. “She wasn’t able to come to campus, but she was still able to juror virtually.”

The art show also comes with a competitive aspect. Students compete and are judged based on the quality of their art.

Magnus Kittleson, a fifth-year software engineering student, who placed second for his piece titled “Lust Trip,” said he appreciates the competitive nature of the show.

“I think the juried show is a great opportunity to have people submit art and have there be an element of competition,” Kittleson said. “I think that competition can motivate people to work harder or create something that’s outside of their comfort zone.”

Bulger echoed a similar thought to Kittleson, saying the art show is a good introduction into what happens when you submit art to a gallery outside of a university.

On top of the art galleries presenting professional opportunities to students, there’s also the chance to feel proud of what a student made.

“I think it’s awesome that it’s not restricted to just the art department,” Kittleson said. “It was really inspiring to see the work hanging up there and it motivated me to keep creating.”

With an opportunity also comes a cost. In this case, since the exhibit is in-person, the cost would be the danger of catching COVID-19.

The exhibit took many steps to reduce the chance of community spread through practices like limiting the occupants to 25, organizing the exhibit so it was spread out, allowing only faculty, staff and students to attend, and placing arrows on the ground to guide people through the exhibit.

Hannah Burmeister, a fourth-year psychology student and first place winner of the Juried Student Art Show for her piece “Matches Burning: A Series,” said she didn’t have any COVID-19 concerns with the exhibit. 

“I’m not concerned with COVID-19 spreading through the exhibit,” Burmeister said. “They have all the safety measures in place, and every time I’ve gone in, there’s hardly been anyone.”

Burmeister also said she was surprised by her first place distinction.

“It’s amazing, and I’m still kind of in shock that I won,” Burmeister said. “I couldn’t believe it when I saw the video.”

The award video can be found here and a virtual tour of the gallery can be found on the Foster Gallery’s website.

Strong can be reached at [email protected].